LESS than 10 minutes drive from beautiful Madang town near where the north coast road passes by RD Tuna Canners is the popular Dalep market.
From the market to the west the road leads all the way up to Nobnob village. Further still, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) sits at the top of the single mountain, which is obvious even from Madang.
You would never miss the market when travelling up the road towards the long-established SIL.
Dalep market was built by the North Ambenob local level government for the people to sell cash crops and other produce. But unfortunately now the people have to find another venue.
The market - once busy and open to locals and settlers – has been surrounded by a wire fence. It seems a security company is purchasing the land from the papagraun (landowners).
A makeshift shelter is now the alternative market that. Foods stuff is put on plastic or banana leaves and sold to customers. Betel nut husk and spit provides an unwelcome but common eyesore.
What was the papagraun’s mentality in selling off the land and with it this important market? Have the papagraun a plan to redevelop the market or otherwise use the land?
If there was a requirement for money, why not impose market fees for sellers or something similar. Starting up a trade store business, piggery, poultry, fish pond or other cash generating project on that land would be of benefit to the papagraun rather than just snatching some fast cash.
The influx of people residing in that area, some employed by government agencies and some by companies such as RD Tuna Canners and James Barnes, would be good and regular customers if such projects were properly planned and implemented.
Do the papagraun want to be mere spectators to their land while others develop it for their own benefit? Do the papagraun want to be slaves on their own land?
Come on papagraun, think twice before you make a decision as the land is your birthright. Why sell off your birth right?